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Lacock Abbey with Stable Yard

A Grade I Listed Building in Lacock, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4147 / 51°24'53"N

Longitude: -2.1174 / 2°7'2"W

OS Eastings: 391932

OS Northings: 168418

OS Grid: ST919684

Mapcode National: GBR 1RR.CGK

Mapcode Global: VH96K.7PZV

Plus Code: 9C3VCV7M+V2

Entry Name: Lacock Abbey with Stable Yard

Listing Date: 20 December 1960

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1283853

English Heritage Legacy ID: 315553

Location: Lacock, Wiltshire, SN15

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Lacock

Built-Up Area: Lacock

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Lacock with Bowden Hill

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Find accommodation in


ST 9168
4/118 Lacock Abbey
with Stable yard

Country house, mid C16 remodelling and extension of cloister court
of C13 to C15 Augustinian nunnery founded 1229 and sold to Sir W.
Sharington at the Dissolution 1540. Some alterations of c1700 and
c1740 for Sir John Talbot and John Ivory Talbot and entrance front
rebuilt as Gothick great hall 1754-5 by Sanderson Miller for J.I.
Talbot. South front alterations in Tudor style 1828-30 for W.H.
Fox-Talbot and c1900-10 restoration of medieval parts by H.
Brakspear for C.H. Talbot. Ashlar and rubble stone with stone
slate roofs generally and numerous ornate C16 twisted stacks.
Mostly 2 storeys, the major part of the house on first floor only
over unaltered medieval basement. The medieval basement comprises
three sides of a lierne-vaulted C15 cloister with two C14 bays at
south-west angle. Largely C14 spaces off. To east fine series of
vaulted rooms, sacristy, chapter house and warming house, intact
apart from openings on east side that are of c1900. This part was
under the Dormitory. West side, under great hall, but originally
under Abbess' lodging has 2 rooms and main entrance passage. North
side is undercroft to refectory. In upper part of house medieval
roofs survive, concealed, to north side refectory, C15 with arch
braced collar trusses and 3 tiers of windbracing, and to south side
dormitory, C14 with 3 tiers of cusped windbracing. Exterior: west
front has 1754-5 ashlar fronted hall-to centre, full-height, with
slate half-hipped valley roof. Octagonal angle turrets with ogee
cupolas, delicate pierced parapet and 2 large ogee-headed windows
flanking central door reached by two-arm balustraded outside stair.
An important landmark of the C18 Gothic revival. To left, former
medieval kitchen refronted in C18. Balustraded parapet, buttresses
and two 2-light pointed windows similar to those on Bath House at
Corsham Court by Capability Brown (q.v. Corsham C.P.). To right a
plain parapetted range with two 15-pane C18 sashes and heavy
stepped corner buttress. South front is similarly severe, being
essentially the inside north wall of the Abbey church with
balustrading and south-east tower added by Sharington and 3 oriels
of varied sizes added 1828-30. The north-west angle of the church
is marked by a heavily buttressed projection, west of this, in
plain walling, another 15-pane sash. Sharington's tower possibly
designed by John Chapman, octagonal, 3-storey, divided by string
courses, has top belvedere, balustrade and stair turret. Finely
detailed 2-light mullion windows. East front is the most medieval
in outline, but C13 style Gothic ground floor windows are of 1900-
10. Adjoining tower, 2-storey range parallel to main range, the
ground floor the medieval east end of chapter house and sacristy,
the parapetted upper floor with 6 stone cross windows added in mid
C16. To right, the main range has buttressed ground floor and,
above, four C18 Gothic 4-light windows, 2 each side of fine C16
outside stack. Battlemented parapet. South end cross-wing appears
largely C16 with coped gables, heraldic finials and dentil eaves
cornice. Mullion-and-transom windows of flush chamfered type with
unusual roundel motif on intersections. Medieval stonework to
ground floor. Two-gabled C16 north extension with first floor C18
sashes and attic mullion windows. North of house is stable court,
mid C16 on east and north sides, an exceptionally complete Tudor
service court, notable for the large timbered gabled dormers, some
with deep eaves on scroll brackets and higher cross-gabled clock-
tower at west end of north range. Mullion windows, dripcourse and
Tudor-arched doorways but 4 doorways in the Renaissance style of
some of the interior C16 work. C19 low coach-houses and 2 early to
mid C18 lodges form a screen across west side linking to an
apparently late C17 addition to north of former kitchen, 2-storey,
5-window with sashes replacing cross-windows above and chamfered
recessed mullion windows below. Fine timber dentil cornice. South
end wall bolection moulded doorcase. From here projects a mid C18
Gothick ogee-headed carriage-arch with screen wall each side.
Interiors: outstanding mid C18 Gothick work in great hall with
exuberant terracotta figures by V.A. Sederbach in canopied niches
and shallow tunnel vault with armorial decoration. c1740 south-
west room in style of William Kent. South Gallery remodelled 1828-
30. Panelled parlour beyond of c1700-20. South-east tower has
vaulted octagonal strong room with pendants to vaults and
magnificent stone table attributed to J. Chapman. Similar but
damaged table in belvedere. Stone gallery in east range is C16
with Renaissance style fireplace and doorcase, and Brown Gallery in
north range has fine C16 windows to courtyard. Corbels of
refectory roof visible. In service court a complete surviving
brewery at west end of north range. W.H. Fox-Talbot 1800-77,
pioneer of photography spent his life here and made his first
photographic experiments here.
(National Trust, Lacock Abbey, 1984; N. Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975,
284-9; Country Life, 3, 10 and 17 March 1923; J. Summerson,
Architecture in Britain 1530 to 1830, 1970, 42-5, 399-400)

Listing NGR: ST9194768469

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